Asbestos Related Lung Cancer Lawsuits
People who were exposed to asbestos may develop serious health problems later in life. Pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer caused by asbestos may take decades to come to light. Fortunately, the justice system offers a way for victims to receive compensation from the companies that used asbestos despite known health risks to employees and customers.
Lung Cancer and Pleural Mesothelioma From Asbestos Exposure
Pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer of the outer lining, or pleura, of the lungs. The cause of this cancer can almost always be tied to asbestos exposure decades earlier – sometimes as much as 50 years before the cancer manifests. The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma can include persistent cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, unexplained weight loss, and fatigue. A biopsy is the only way to definitively determine whether you have mesothelioma. While pleural mesothelioma is the most common form, this cancer can also strike mesothelium (protective lining) of other organs. Treatments for mesothelioma continue to improve but the condition is almost always fatal.
While most lung cancers are caused by tobacco or other environmental factors, exposure to asbestos is implicated in some lung cancer cases. Asbestos contains sharp-edged, microscopic fibers, some of which may get lodged in the soft tissue of the lungs. Scarring results and the fibers keep irritating the lung tissue. In time, some of the cells around the fibers may mutate, forming a tumor. Smokers who were also exposed to asbestos have a much higher chance of developing lung cancer than smokers with no history of asbestos exposure. The symptoms of lung cancer are very similar to the symptoms of pleural mesothelioma.
Filing a Lung Cancer Lawsuit Due to Asbestos Exposure
If you were exposed to asbestos at any time during your life and you have been diagnosed with lung cancer, you may be entitled to compensation from the party or parties responsible. The first step to pursuing a claim for asbestos-related lung cancer is to determine who is responsible for your asbestos exposure. A detailed work history will help determine the length of time you spent in an environment contaminated with asbestos and the severity of your exposure. These factors may be critical to the success of your claim against the negligent company.
At a time when you are dealing with the stress and pain of cancer treatment, filing a lawsuit may feel overwhelming. An experienced asbestos attorney can explain all your options, including filing a claim with an asbestos trust. If it seems likely that you have a case, the law firm staff can conduct an investigation to verify the sources of your asbestos exposure. You can receive the compensation you deserve to help with medical bills and lost income.
Compensation for Lung Cancer Lawsuits and Pleural Mesothelioma from Asbestos Exposure
The majority of lawsuits filed by people suffering from pleural mesothelioma or lung cancer are settled before trial. At Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, we prepare every case for trial, but we also engage in settlement negotiations and mediation to try to resolve the case out of court. Particularly in cases of lung cancer where other environmental factors such as smoking may be present, defendants may deny responsibility for the harm they have caused. Building a solid case allows a lawyer to negotiate the best possible settlement.
In some cases, the parties are not able to reach a settlement and it may be necessary to take the case to trial. Trials can be lengthy and defendants may appeal if they lose, drawing out the process even further. This delays compensation that can help pay for medical bills and family expenses. Jury verdicts, however, can be much larger than settlements reached out of court and may include large punitive damage awards to deter other corporations from similar behavior in the future. For example, Kazan lawyers won a verdict of over $27 million for a California couple. The husband worked with asbestos-laden insulation in the 1950s. The wife was exposed to asbestos when she washed her husband’s work clothes. The jury added $11 million in punitive damages on top of the $16,342,500 they awarded the couple for economic, emotional, and physical injuries.
Some companies have filed for bankruptcy to avoid asbestos lawsuits. Many of those companies have created asbestos trust funds to provide compensation for people who develop pleural mesothelioma or lung cancer after exposure to asbestos due to their products or operations. An experienced attorney can help you take the steps required to prove your claim and receive compensation from an asbestos trust fund.